Brendon McCullum Happy With England Test Skipper Ben Stokes’ Decision To Quit ODIs

Brendon McCullum, England’s Test coach views Ben Stokes’ abrupt decision to retire from ODIs as an absolutely positive move but is not sure if this would become a trend for other players, given cricket’s taxing schedule.

The 2019 Word Cup final hero Ben Stokes on Monday made a surprise announcement to retire from the 50-over format, saying playing three formats has become “unsustainable” for him.

Ben Stokes, Brendon McCullum (Credits: Twitter)

Brendon McCullum Happy With Ben Stoke’s Decision To Retire From ODIs

The cricket fraternity will remember the New Zealander who took English cricket to new heights and bid adieu to the ODI format at the peak of his career.

“Yeah of course I am,” McCullum said when asked if he was happy with Ben Stokes’ decision.

He was asked if Ben Stokes’ move could become a trend for other players around the world.

“There are not too many all-format players,” the former New Zealand captain said.

“He’s probably in a luxurious position that he’s able to do that, but also with the demands of the schedules and with his heightened schedule as Test captain, it would’ve become too much. He also has a young family and there’s a lot going on.”

“I don’t know if it’s symbolic of where the game itself is at around the globe, but I see it as an absolute positive to be honest. I’m looking forward to being able to spend even more time with ‘Stokesy’ trying to get this thing cracking.”

Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes was out for just 5 in his final ODI (Credits: ICC/Twitter)

It came as a shock to many given his age — he is only 31 — but Brendon McCullum looked at Ben Stokes’ one-day retirement differently.

“Obviously we would’ve loved to see Ben Stokes playing in three forms of the game, he’s an out-and-out superstar and we’ve seen what he’s been able to achieve, but sometimes things have to give way and I look at it as a positive that he’s going to have the time to really immerse himself in the Test side.”

Appearing in his last ODI against South Africa at Durham on July 19, the 31-year-old couldn’t perform up to the expectations. But by that time, he had earned so much for English cricket that performance in the farewell match was not that mandatory.

Brendon McCullum Happy To See Ben Stokes Have More Available Time For England’s Test Side

Ben Stokes’ ODI career will forever be remembered for his Player-of-the-Match performance in the World Cup final against New Zealand at the Lord’s three years ago. His unbeaten 84 helped to send the match into a Super Over as England claimed their first 50-over World Cup title in the most thrilling of circumstances.

An outstanding knock of unbeaten 84 from Ben Stokes helped England win their first ever 50-over World Cup in a nail-biting thriller as the game ended in a tie after 50 overs, followed by another tie in the Super Over.

Brendon McCullum said, “Stokes is the skipper of our Test side and the job that I’ve seen him do with this team in a very short period of time really excites me about what he can do with this side, particularly now that he’ll have more available time rather than jumping from series to series to series.”

“I guess England’s a slightly different set-up to most other world cricket teams because they play a lot of cricket, they’re a wanted commodity around the world and they’re able to generate such a fan following and also the financial returns that the game requires to support 16 Counties and the big organization that is English cricket.”

Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter
Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter

Ben Stokes, who succeeded Joe Root as England’s Test captain, scored 2924 runs in 105 ODIs and took 74 wickets. Brendon McCullum was happy that Ben Stokes quit one of the white-ball formats to focus on the traditional format.

“I also think it’s a real mark of respect of the man that he’s sort of bucking the trend of the short version of the game and actually trying to focus on what he sees as a huge task trying to get Test cricket back to the levels, or even exceed the levels, that it’s had in the past. I think it’s a noble play from him,” Brendon McCullum said.

Ben Stokes won his maiden Test series as captain against New Zealand with a handsome score-line of 3-0. His purple patch in captaincy continued in the rescheduled Test match against India where they won by seven wickets and leveled the series by 2-2.

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